411) 2010 Year End Update & Colonoscopy Report

January 6, 2011

News Brief: Three pieces of news for youse ~~
1. Texans can now register to donate organs on their auto registration renewal website.
2. If you watch Desperate Housewives on ABC TV, the character, Susan, after being trampled in a mob scene, is going to have to be on dialysis beginning this new season. We shall see how this dialy-drama progresses.
3. My agency; TNOYS now has started a web log here on Blogger. I don't think we know exactly how we are going to use it... but, if you are interested, check it out by clicking here.
5. A good read on the current "state of union" kind of post on dialysis... calling for a unified approach for "better dialysis". John Agar, in the first post on the Fix Dialysis blog discusses his definition of better dialysis, and calls upon users of the web to come together to found on basic blogsite for a unified approach to blogging in support of better dialysis. Read more at http://www.fixdialysis.com/#

2010 Year End Update: One of the things
about being a kidney transplantee is that once we have a new kidney we are in better shape and happier and yet there are a number of other medical issues that continue to keep us involved with the medical community.

As I have reported in this blog, there is a continuing regimen of medications that must be monitored and adjusted forever. I haven't recorded all my medication adjustments over the past year, but I can tell you that there are adjustments about every month or so. As the transplant center staff review my bloodwork every month or so, they find that I need more or less of the following meds to keep my system in the balance it requires for optimum functioning. It is very important for my good health that cyclosporine and myfortic remain effective. For the most part of the last year, in addition to these anti-rejection meds I have also been taking levothroroxin, crestor, lisinopril, flomax, oscal, calcitrol, and omeprazole. Only the oscal (beginning after my thyroidectomy) has been changed significantly as my remaining parathyroid glands got to working (see post # 408).

This past year has included some medical procedures as well... primarily my parathroidectomy (reported in post # 405) and a recent colonoscopy that I haven't written about to date. After having it rescheduled several times, Dr. Poreddy performed it on December 20th as part of my Winter vacation. I didn't really realize at the time that he intended to do the colonoscopy and an esophagastroduodenoscopy (EGD) to look up and down both sides insides.

As I have said many times in the past, the conscious sedation drugs (sometimes called 'hypnotics') they use to put you out for these delightful-sounding procedures are among the 'best' (meaning giving one a really nice drugged out feeling) I have ever taken. During the procedure one has a sense of what is happening while feeling really relaxed and comfortable. Once in awhile there are some poking feelings and the patient can comment, causing the doctor to adjust their endoscope and keep it on track. As the patient comes off the meds, they have a sense of waking up in an altered dream-like state and I
usually have very scattered, in-and-out thoughts and memories (reminiscent of Billy Pilgrim's popping in out of segments of his life) of the span of time on the medications. Going to work or out for a walk in the park is out of the question. Eating tasty food, laying around on a comfy couch with a favorite pet or stuffed animal, and listening to music are my favorite things to do for about 6 hours after the procedure. I like ice cream, jello, pudding, and a soft pillow during these times. I have never experienced much after-procedure pain at all.

So, Liz was there to talk to the doc after the exam was completed. According to Liz, Dr. Poreddy reported that... "His upper GI tract shows a lot of inflammation and he has colitis, diverticulitis, (...and probably a couple of other itises...). He needs to begin taking omeprazole and make an appointment to see me in 2 weeks." I will spare you blog readers the pictures we have of the tunnels of my insides. Now that the holidays are over, I will make an appointment. I have been taking the omeprazole and while visiting Joan in Dallas, she made me drink some fiber powder in my coffee each morning.

In general, 2010 has been a healthy year for me. Mordechai the Miracle Kidney is doing great and I am back to my regular duties, behaviors, and foibles. Although I am fine, the environment outside my little family system is going to Hell in a hand-basket. My larger professional system is splintering and possibly coming apart from the loss of federal and state funding for training front-line social workers. The even larger social services system is suffering state funding cutbacks by a state governor who believes in tightening the in-state budget to convince the country of his financial prowess: "Texas is one of the few states with a surplus" he claimed during the last state election, as he systematically cut social services to further disenfranchise the already marginalized citizens. "Don't get me going" part of me says to my blog-writing part. This blog is about Jack's KIDNEY adventure, not politics.

Closer to home, just
one sub-system out from us, my adult kids and our brother-in-law's mothers have passed on during the past year, causing us all much grief and pain and adjustment. We are reminded that life is precious and, at least from MY perspective; we owe it to ourselves to live our lives like we would like to be remembered by those who will miss us the most once we have moved on.

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